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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Davidson F H N
DAVIDSON, Maj Gen Francis Henry Norman (1892-1973)
Created 1935-1972
Level of description
collection level
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1 box or 0.01 cubic metres


Administrative / Biographical history

Born 1892; educated at Marlborough and Royal Military Academy, Woolwich; commisioned into the Royal Regt Artillery 1911; served World War One, 1914-1919 (wounded, despatches four times, MC and bar, DSO); Brevet Maj, 1929; Maj 1929; Brevet Lt Col, 1933; Col, 1938; Maj Gen 1941; General Staff Officer Grade 2, Army Headquarters India, 1925-1927; Bde Maj 12 Indian Infantry Bde, 1927-1929; General Staff Officer Grade 2, War Office, 1930-1934; Imperial Defence College Course, 1935-1936; General Staff Officer Grade 2 Staff College, Camberley, 1937-1938; General Staff Officer Grade 1, Division 2, Aldershot, 1938-1939; Commander Corps of Royal Artillery 1 Corps BEF (British Expeditionary Force) 1939-1940; Brig Gen Staff 10 Corps, 1940; Director of Military Intelligence, War Office, 1940-1944; Maj Gen, General Staff British Army Staff, Washington, USA, 1944-1946; retired pay, 1946. Col Commandent Intelligence Corps, 1952-1960; died 1973.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Presented to the Centre in two accessions, by Davidson in 1969 and by E E Thomas of the Cabinet Office Historical Section in 1988

Content & structure

Scope and content

The collection consists of pamphlets written by Davidson, papers relating to his part in the Allied Military Mission to Moscow, USSR, 1939 and papers relating to his career in World War Two as Commander in the Royal Artillery and as Director of Military Intelligence. The World War Two material includes maps used in the retreat of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) to Dunkirk, France, maps used as Director of Military Intelligence to illustrate the progress of the war to Queen Mary, mother of George VI and a personal diary kept while Director of Military Intelligence. There is also a file containing correspondence with E E Thomas of the Cabinet Office Historical Section relating to aspects of Military Intelligence during World War Two.

System of arrangement

The papers are arranged chronologically in sections.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.

Language/scripts of material

English, three letters in French

Finding aids

This detailed Catalogue, and in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

Davidson's medals are in the Intelligence Corps Museum, Templer Barracks, Ashford, Kent.



Decorations: CB, DSO, MC

Description control

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.


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  • Armed forces
  • Artillery
  • Diaries
  • Diplomacy
  • Documents
  • Foreign relations
  • Information sources
  • International conflicts
  • International relations
  • Literary forms and genres
  • Literature
  • Maps
  • Military engineering
  • Military equipment
  • Military intelligence
  • Military missions
  • Military organizations
  • Nonfiction
  • Organizations
  • Primary documents
  • Prose
  • State security
  • Visual materials
  • War
  • Warfare
  • Wars (events)
  • Weapons
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Mary, 1867-1953, Queen Consort of George V
  • Thomas, E E, fl 1988, Cabinet Office Historical Section

Corporate names

  • British Army


  • Dunkirk, France
  • Moscow, Russian Federation, Eastern Europe
  • USSR, Eastern Europe

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